The Riviera Maya isn’t all about sand, sea and sun bathing. Just off highway 307, the road that dissects the Riviera Maya, there are a multitude of Adventure Parks and Ecological Parks. Providing fun for people of all ages! These offer a huge range of activities including: cenotes, cave walks, zip lines, jungle walks, ATV rides and many many more! Perfectly located, these parks provide the perfect alternative, nature based day out; and are certainly an activity not to be missed on the Riviera Maya. To help you we have provided an overview of each Adventure Park below.
Xplor Adventure Park
This park is located above and below the ground and boasts fourteen zip lines that run as high as 148 feet (45 meters) over the jungle, over rivers, through water falls and then 25 feet (8 meters) underground into a cenote! Once you’ve taken in this spectacular birds eye view of the jungle you can drive yourself through it on ATVs that then enter underground caverns, where the water level rises around you as you progress. Then you can take a hand paddled raft through a system of caverns, relaxing after all that exhilaration whilst floating on aqua blue water and marveling at the stalactites and stalagmites formations all around you. Once you’ve finished that you can float, even more slowly, down an underground stalactite river at your own pace, lie on your back and take in natures beauty. In the midst of all this you can refresh yourself with a buffet lunch and fruit juice.
Entrance fee: 119 USD for adults, 59.50 USD for children incl. food and drinks
Location: 6 km south of Playa del Carmen
For more information about the park, Xplor online!
Xel-Ha Water Park
Xel-ha is a natural aquarium and is considered to be the largest aquarium in the world! If this doesn’t sell the place to you straight away then the variety of marine based activities here will. Here, besides your standard snorkeling, you can walk on the bottom of the ocean (with special helmets even non-swimmers can participate), snuba (a cross between scuba and snorkeling) either in the outdoor aquarium or in a cenote, you can swim with dolphins, swim with manatees, swim and feed sting rays and cycle your way through the sky above jungle, cenote and cave. For those that want to relax there is also a spa available and you can even attend a traditional Mayan body and soul purifying experience.
Entrance fee: 89 USD for adults, 44,50 USD for children incl. food and drinks
Location: Close to Tulum, 44 km south of Playa del Carmen
For more information about the park, Xel-Ha read more!
Xcaret Adventure Park
More than just an ecological park displaying the best of nature that Mexico has to offer Xcaret goes over and above, fulfilling its tag line of “Soy Mexico” (I am Mexico) by having on display many part of Mexican history. There are Mayan villages accessed through caves, a Mexican cemetery honoring Mexico’s ancestors, a hacienda mansion which doubles as a museum of Mexican history, Mayan archaeological sites and a river raft ride to experience the jungle in a unique way. On top of this it boasts restaurants featuring signature dishes from many different regions of Mexico. This park is the closest you can get to seeing the whole of Mexico on one vacation.
If that wasn’t enough each year in the month of May the Traversia Sagrada, a sacred Mayan journey over to Cozumel island, begins and ends in this park; it is an ancient event with deep roots, and if you are here in May, it is a spectacular you should not miss!
Entrance fee: 95 USD, 48 USD for children basic ticket. For all-in ticket prices visit Xcaret online.
Location: 6 km from Playa del Carmen
For more information about this park, read more!
This ecological park is based almost entirely underground and its focus lies on a semi-submerged cave system that stretches for more than 12 kilometers (7.5 miles)! Formed over thousands of years, this extravagant piece of nature is an exceptional trip; a running river with stalactites and stalagmites, ancient rock strata and other natural attractions, whether your interested in caves or haven’t got a clue you are guaranteed to be amazed by this! Group sizes are restricted not only for your enjoyment but also to protect the history that is around you so it can be enjoyed by others after you.
Entrance fee: 79 USD for adults, 39.50 USD for children, for tours packages, visit Rio Secreto Online!
Location: on the opposite side of the road of Xcaret, 6km from Playa del Carmen
Selvatica is Spanish for “wild”, and they haven’t stopped short with the adrenaline rushes here. More than a park this is a catered for adventure, with door to door pick up and lunch buffet with drinks included you just need to worry about getting excited. The park consists of a 12 zip zip-line course running above the luscious, a jungle skywalk, a bungee swing, an extreme ATV ride, a cenote swim and many more heart pumping activities! If you’re an adrenaline junkie and missing your fix whilst in paradise this park is the place to top yourself up.
Entrance fee: for tours and prices, visit Selvatica Online!
Location: Avenida Tulum in Cancun
Jardin Botanico Yaax Che
Not like the others on this list, this is the botanical garden of the Riviera Maya. It is the only patch of conserved forest between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen and hosts plants and wildlife from across the region; many being endangered. It contains about 4 kilometers (3.5 miles) of trails and contains a traditional Mayan house and an archaeological site. This park has been created to educate those that visit the region about the wildlife that occupies it, and the Mayan culture and their knowledge so that it is not lost.
Entrance fee: for more information visit Jardin Botanico Online!
Location: Puerto Morelos
This park was created whilst maintaining the natural jungle around it and allows you to observe the Mexican jungle as it is meant to be. Not only that but they have got some of the worlds most famous cenotes on site, including the ones used in the IMAX movie “Journey into Amazing Caves” and in the, critically acclaimed, BBC series “Plant Earth”. Beside the natural spectacular there are zip-lines, skycycles (so you can enjoy the jungle canopy at your own leisurely pace), diving and rappelling available.
Entrance fee: adults 80 USD, children 60 USD
Location: 10 km north of Tulum
Aktun Chen (Indiana Joe’s)
It has to be said that Aktun Chen’s main attraction is its 640 meter (0.4mile) dry cave; here you can see nature invade this underground space as well as marvel at the rock formations around you. At the end of the awe inspiring cave is the beautiful cenote: Aktun Chen, which means “Well inside a cave”, and gives its name to the park. Besides this there is the beauty of the jungle and it’s abundance of wildlife which the guides will happily find for you and explain to you. But this parks focus is not only on the cave and the nature that surrounds it, there are also zip lines for those that want to get an aerial view of the Mexican jungle.
Entrance fee: for more information about tours and prices, visit Aktun Chen Online!
Location: between Akumal and Chemuyil